Cheap Eats 2011: Comet Ping Pong

When this stripped-down pizza place opened five years ago next to sister restaurant Buck’s Fishing & Camping, it was notable for its chef, locavore pioneer Carole Greenwood, and its departure from the Neapolitan leanings of its pizzeria competition. Now, although Greenwood is long gone and the pizza scene has blossomed, Comet remains in the top tier. Much hasn’t changed: The crowd looks like a mix of Slate writers, Fort Reno concertgoers, and keyed-up five-year-olds. The bathrooms are still behind an unmarked wall panel, and the wait for one of the Ping-Pong tables can rival a Harry Potter opening. But there’s plenty that’s new, such as tender meatballs blanketed in terrific red sauce (now sold by the jar) and fluffy tiramisu. To drink, there are wine carafes and interesting draft beers. Or to stick with the Cheap Eats theme, $2.50 cans of PBR.

Also good: Jerk chicken wings; the Yalie, a white-clam pizza; the Hottie, a pizza with pepperoni and jalapeños; salty-caramel/praline ice cream; snickerdoodle cookies.

Open daily for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.